The Squeaky Wheel gets the Grease!

Week 10 of my RW Challenge! So exciting!

Living in Okinawa Japan definitely has its pros and cons.

My number one CON to being here is the postal system. The FPO (Foreign Post Office) is seriously like the black hole of delivery. I have had textbooks for school take 3 months to get here…and well, the semester was already over. Before I started this RW challenge I subscribed to the RW Magazine. I anxiously awaited my January copy and by the middle of the month I just gave up and went to the Shoppette to buy a copy. Then, January 26th there it was, my copy of RW in my mailbox. Same thing for February – and actually the March issues were already on the newsstands before my February copy came. I decided to send complaint emails to RW via their “contact me” tab on the website and a complaint on their FB wall. I got a customer service reply from them, “Sorry for the inconvenience we’ll mail out a copy to you, it should be there in 3-4 weeks.

This is how I feel when dealing with the FPO system!

How was this supposed to help? So I emailed them back complaining some more. Guess what? The squeaky wheel really did get some grease! Monday when I checked my mail (March14th) there was my APRIL 2011 RW Magazine! I could hardly believe it!

At the post office I was told that once mail enters into the FPO system from the USPS system there is no guarantee as to how long something can take to reach its final destination. So I was convinced that even though I was complaining to RW they really might not be able to do anything about my particular problem b/c of our location. But alas I stand corrected!

Another treat was in my box for me today! My new Asics trailing running shoes! WOOT here I come! Wahoo! I have lined up two teen girls who have agreed to occasionally babysit for me at 6:30am on Saturday mornings when I go for a run with the local women’s trail running group called WOOT (Women On Okinawa Trails).  I had met up with this group for some Cocok’s Toes pampering as a meet and greet and to pick their brains about any “gear” I might need. Plus, I just wanted someone to give me permission to feed my gear junkie side! One of the women I asked said that she just runs in old running shoes, others said that they bought trail shoes – no clear cut answers. I decided to just do my homework and read some reviews on the differences between the two types of shoes – Road vs trail.

Turns out, trial running shoes don’t just keep your feet a little less wet they also really do offer protection and way better traction. Trail shoes are designed with thin metal plates strategically placed to prevent sharp rocks, broken sticks, you name it – from jabbing into your foot and causing injury. I chose Asics simply because that is what I have been running in for years now and know I like them and know my size – so ordering online works. The trail shoe I chose is the 2009 model, Asics Gel Trail Attack 6 – click here for a video review.

I was fitted at a professional running store in Fredericksburg, VA and have just continued to order the same shoe ever since. If you have never been professionally fitted for a shoe, I highly recommend it. Before I had this done I was constantly getting shin splints and all sort of weird aches and pains. I had no idea what pronation even meant nor did I have any clue how it related to the type of shoes I should wear. There are some shoe fitting expos taking place this month and next month. MizunoShoeFitting – click on the link for the details.

Training updates – TODAY: I did a running interval. Warm-up: Active stretch, 25 Jumping Jacks, 15 curb step-ups each side (last week my hip flexors were tweaked so we are focusing on really warming them up!).

Work-out: 25 Jumping Jacks, 25 sit-ups, 10 pushups – Run 1 mile – repeat 3X.

I had planned to do this outside of the gym today while having Nola in the COOP but today’s volunteer was a NO SHOW. Hardly ever happens but man is it frustrating. Once we returned home it started to rain so I decided to wait until afternoon. When we were running our errands it was still sprinkling out so I decided to just make this a treadmill exercise. At the beginning I thought, maybe I’ll do 4 rounds or more…this doesn’t sound so hard! YEAH RIGHT! This was a challenging workout and by the end I was drenched in sweat and in no mood to go longer than Jeanne had instructed!

Wednesday – Run 3.5 miles nice and easy + Yoga @ 9am

Thursday –  We’re hitting it hard w/ Hills or Speed – Jeanne’s gonna let me know when I get there! Eeek!

Friday: I have a follow up Fitness Assesment. I had one of these done about a year after I had Nola, then again the week I started training with Jeanne, now this one is going to be a Re-Assesment after 9 weeks of training w. a coach. I am very excited to see (on paper) what my gains truly have been! I recommend this to everyone – they are free w/ any fitness coordinator. They do measurements, strength, BMI and some card testing and then give you an overall fitness score. It was REALLY cool to see the difference between last year and this years score! I’ll post all of my results after my meeting on Friday.


Nola is Daddy's Cammies!

This deployment is almost over! Our Return and Reunion brief is scheduled for March 22nd and I am getting very excited to hear what they have to say. My husband already told me not expect any solid dates of return – but this is exciting b/c it’s a milestone. This means the end is in sight. I have missed my husband so much – I have tried to keep all of these emotions at arms length for the most part and certainly haven’t let them be a part of this blog too frequently. I really appreciate everyone’s support through this deployment. Having our little girl grow up (a little dramatic but that’s what it feels like) in front of me and not being able to share that w/ my husband has been really tough. He was SO eager to be a father and it seemed like no sooner than we got the hang of this parenting thing – he was gone. He started leaving for 3 months at a time when she was only 3 months old. Now she is 15 months and counting. She has learned how to walk, talk and has a mouth full of teeth not to mention a large personality! We are both so eager to have him safely with us – day and night! My feet are so cold in the big bed!

Such a Daddy's girl. These were the last photos we had taken as a family before he deployed in September 2010.

Miles ran this week = 3.48

Year-to-date = 75.84


Gunner’s Fitness COOP

On the base nearest to where I live, Camp Foster, there is a Fitness CoOperative setup for parents who want to workout and have children who are not in daycare. So like me for example – I am a stay at home mom/online student who needs some gym time weekly but can’t afford a babysitter that frequently (not that I know anyone who could watch Nola for me to hit the gym) and I do not have her enrolled in a daycare. So I signed up by emailing the coordinator which time slot I was interested in and when there was an opening I got an email from the Coordinator! That is how I am able to meet w. my trainer Jeanne twice a week! In return I have to volunteer at least two-three days a month for the unlimited use of the CoOp Mon-Fri.

Here are some pictures! You can see that there is a space for the babies to be – this way the toddlers can’t jump all over the stuff for the little ones. There are all sorts of great toys for all ages. Most of the parents donate toys and we collect a fund each month from the moms ($3 each) for cleaning supplies and new coloring books, etc.

There is also a little bathroom for the kids who are potty trained! Don’t want to derail their accomplishments so there was a bathroom built in the room.

There is also a changing table for the babies mounted on the wall. A TV and DVD player mounted on the wall. There is also a “mommy” chair for us to sit back and relax in if your waiting for people to arrive for their workout. 

All in this entire cooperative experience has been a blessing in disguise. I have been very fortunate to always get the time slot I want and if for some reason I need to have it changed I just email the group and switch with someone.

For more information on this click: Gunner’s Gym Fitness Cooperative

Training Updates:

Okay – so lets cut to the chase here – How am I feeling on 3 days after doing speed work for the first time and 1 day after Cross training for the first time (Jeanne style)…well, I am in pain! I have been popping Aleve all day, grunting when I sit or stand and have been avoiding my hallway stairs all day – I seriously almost stayed in PJ’s all day b/c I didn’t want to have to go back upstairs to change my clothes!!! BUT it was my volunteer day at the CoOp so I had to at least be wearing sweats and not my psychedelic butterfly PJ pants from Old Navy. I was suppose to run two miles today but I was lucky to make it to the phone before the answering machine picked up – I wasn’t going to be doing much walking let alone running! I’m trying to focus on riding these DOMS like a pony as my friend Aimee suggested but I am pretty sure I’m the one being ridden here – right on over to the coach where I spent most of my day!

RW Review thus far:

So far I would have to say that the RW Intermediate plan is way too advanced for someone who was already getting the intermediate mileage in. the speed work that I did was about half of what the RW plan was calling for and I was still crippled from it. Now to add in Hill and the importance of Cross training – I am in serious pain. I completely understand that with this sort of workout comes pain BUT the RW book seemed to imply that b/c I was already getting some sort of decent weekly mileage in I would be able to “ramp” it up to this sort of level right away and I’m not. Also, their diet recommendations have me consuming mass amounts of Carbs when what I really need right now is protein. I have been feeling very bogged down and extremely gassy from all of the beans and raw veggies they suggest. I am hoping that once I build my base for this sort of physical challenge everything will start falling into place – but for right now – I think that the RW methods are geared towards people who are on a much higher playing field then this “average” runner.

Nutrition Updates:

So I think that I have found a menu that might work for me to eat from frequently. I was combing the RW website and some “diet plans.” Even though I am not trying to diet – as a matter of fact I am pretty much hungry all of the time now. I have actually had a hard time finding protein based meals from the RW website – mostly b/c there is SO much info on nutrition to weed through. But I did have some luck…

This is what I found:

Breakfast – Egg Pocket: 2 eggs (or 4oz egg sub.) scrambled and stuffed into a whole wheat pita pocket

1 cup of fruit salad

6oz. tomato juice

Snack: Pretzel sticks & yogurt

Lunch: Black bean burrito


8oz juice (I was thinking V8 splash)

Oatmeal cookies (yum, my fav!)

Snack: Pear

Dinner: Salmon over 1 ½ c. Risotto

1 c. steamed green beans w/ lemon juice

salad w/ rice vinegar & oil dressing


Tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread (lunch)


Low-fat cottage cheese w/ fruit

Steak or chicken instead of Salmon

Well – I’m off to drink a NewCastle Beer and stretch my legs! I’m really looking forward to Week 3 and getting past this pain! Damn you DOMS! (insert a visualization of a dramatic scene where I am shaking my fist in the air and yelling this!)